Computing Miscellanea

Goodbye ARM, and thank you!

A short post to mark my leaving ARM, after just over three years, and to thank my ex colleagues for my leaving card and gift. I started in April 2010, after concluding Transmission Begins was not going to go where I wanted.

I’ve met lots of really interesting people, and learned a lot.

My last day was Friday, and I attach the suitably modified card I received:

A leaving card with the customised logo: Mali 3D Giants
Mali, 3D Giants!

Thank you all!

Book Reviews Computing

Code – Charles Petzold

Anyone interested in learning more about computers might enjoy ‘Code’ by Charles Petzold. I’ve just finished it, and found it very readable.

It sets out to be a beginners guide to how computers work, but without all the cute analogies and pictures of 1’s and 0’s in pidgeon holes that seem to crop up in other texts like this.

It probably helps that I first encountered the author as my introduction to programming Windows. As I type this I’m unsure if I ever read all of his classic ‘Programming Windows’ (I was a student when I needed to, and probably borrowed it), but I certainly read large chunks. It has a clear, no-nonsense, style I enjoyed.

All you really need to understand to follow Code is how a relay works, and he explains that from first principles. He then works up to laying them out by the thousand to produce a computer recognisable today. One interesting observation is that much of the technology needed to create a computer was around a hundred years old before someone assembled one we would recognise. There’s a different path the world might have taken, if that had happened earlier!